24 A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
he will not even bring it back to his mouth!
25 Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence;
rebuke the discerning, and they will gain knowledge.
26 Whoever robs their father and drives out their mother
is a child who brings shame and disgrace.
There is more to sloth than laziness, it is also an attitude of apathy. Diligence in one area of life does not translate to all areas; there are many hard workers that fail to maintain things like health and relationships. Sloth is the great waster of resources. The example here is food, but no resource is exempt from sloth’s indifference. Is there something you know you ought to pay more attention to? A relationship, a budget, a mess that needs to be dealt with? Let gratitude be your motivation. Give thanks for the opportunity, and don’t let it go to waste.
“Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke the discerning, and they will gain knowledge.” The mocker may claim open mindedness, but he fails to learn even from consequences. Although he may not learn from his pain, his example is an opportunity for the simple – to see firsthand where the path of folly leads. It is much easier to teach the discerning, who are truly open minded. They need neither pain nor example, a simple rebuke will suffice.
“Whoever robs their father and drives out their mother is a child who brings shame and disgrace.” Children who bring shame and disgrace upon their parents, whatever their reasons, eventually bring the same upon themselves. The fifth commandment instructs us to “honor your father and your mother,” and it is not only for their sake but for our own. Whatever brings shame and disgrace to your parents is not worth having, as the parable of the prodigal son illustrates. It was the father’s grace, and not the inheritance, that turned out to be the real blessing.